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Great Chart!

You are such a scientist. Can I steal this?


Two comments:
1. If you were to ask people what the curve of a "fair" system would look like, I think most people would say the green line from 100% to 50% and the blue line from 50% to zero. So while this chart is informative I'm not sure how persuasive it is.

2. The 2015 bill (blue line) is a big improvement over the 2014 bill (green line) in one important area: incidents where both parties are partly at fault, and both parties suffer losses. In that scenario, each party would have a claim upon the other for a portion of their loss, and the magnitude of the loss becomes as important as the assignment of fault. If Party A and Party B collide, and Party A is 25% at fault and Party B is 75% at fault, but Party B's loss is four times as great, Party A ends up writing a check to Party B even though the accident was mostly Party B's fault. That doesn't square with most people's idea of fairness, and the new bill fixes it.

Does the 2015 bill really follow that purple line? I thought it would follow the green line between 0 and 50% cyclist fault, then drop to zero recovery for cyclist fault over 50%.

Never mind. I think.

Our amps go to 11!

I would think the problem with defining 50% as the threshold instead of 0% only changes the semantics a jury would use. There's just no objective way to distinguish percentages. Anything more than 0% could be called 10% or 60%, how can it be measured? I'd think a jury would first decide what they think a motorist should have to pay, then frame the justification in terms of the cyclist's percentage fault. This wouldn't solve the problem with the contributory negligence law.

1. The chart wasn't really meant to be persuasive, but I do think it can persuade people that the status quo is unfair.

2. I think defining 50% is far easier than 1% or 10%. People have a much more intrinsic feel for who is 'primarily' to blame in a situation. I seem to remember an experiment where people were asked to scoop dry oatmeal out of a bag until they had gotten x% of it. People were pretty good at it in general, but were better at 50% than anything else (probably because they could look at the two amounts and decide if they were equal, which makes this somewhat irrelevant).

Having served as an expert in many medical negligence cases, where the threshold for causation in most states a is a 51% likelihood that the actions in question caused harm, I think it's a tough call.

It is far easier to affix blame than apportion it.

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